A characteristically enjoyable DeRenzy offering, Baby Face 2 begins, ends, and is punctuated throughout with first-person narration from Candie Evans. A group of pretty young things gather together for a bachelorette party and, after dressing up, watching some porn and playing with some toys, unveil the evening’s main event – a male stripper. Unfortunately, it transpires that he’s aged, unshaven, cigar-chomping, and has fallen asleep inside a huge faux wedding cake. Nonetheless, he does have a treat in store for the girls who, after taunting him about his ability to get it up, are transformed into insatiable vixens by means of a spell.
Really, this is just a light-hearted romp but remains noteworthy for a number of reasons. Firstly, the orgy that – a couple of interludes aside – consumes the entire second half of the film, is very well-realised. DeRenzy utilises strobe lighting, wind machines and a pulsating soundtrack to represent the spell afflicting the girls, and the shot selection is also very impressive – even quite reminiscent of Russ Meyer. Orgies tend to be quite boring, so DeRenzy deserves credit for keeping things lively throughout. Secondly, although this dates from the late 1980’s, the high proportion of exterior shots, sun-drenched locations and fast cars remind us that the Golden Age, in which DeRenzy participated fully, had only recently passed.
Another point worth mentioning is that the cast use their own (admittedly ‘stage’) names throughout, an intriguing conceit in terms of audience identification. By encouraging the viewer to identify with the performer rather than the character, the director foreshadows the Gonzo ‘movies’ of the following decade. The decision to have one of their number relay plot information directly to the camera – a technique the director used on a number of occasions around this time – further subverts the normal relationship between spectacle and spectator. Of course, neither of these devices originates with DeRenzy – nor do they elevate the movie above the level of enjoyable fluff – but they do remind us of the presence of a pioneering director, a director whose reputation had been established with groundbreaking documentaries like Censorship In Denmark (1969) and landmark features like the original Baby Face (1977) – to which this is related in name only – and Pretty Peaches (1978).
Returning to the subject of acting, which is frequently appalling here, Gillis predictably steals the show with his transformation from drunken has-been to demonic sex-fiend. The male cast actually includes many key figures from the period – Jerry Butler, Kevin James and the ubiquitous Tom Byron – but they’re not required to do much aside from the obvious – it’s just not that kind of movie. The female cast also comprises many familiar faces – Lois Ayres, Kristara Barrington, Stacey Donovan and the aforementioned Candie Evans. Actually, taken as a group, the girls are analogous to the film itself: playful, exuberant and life-affirming.